Pakistan Air Force planes collide in mid-air, killing 5

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Two training aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) collided in mid-air over northwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing everyone on board and a civilian on the ground, police said. Several others were injured.

The accident happened when two MFI-17 Muchshak basic trainer aircraft crashed in the small town of Rashakai near PAF Academy Risalpur in the Nowshera District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The planes were carrying two pilots and two co-pilots, all whom were killed upon impact.

The debris of the planes destroyed two houses in the town, which is located just a few kilometers (miles) from PAF Academy Risalpur, while several others were damaged. A provincial police official speaking on the condition of anonymity, because he was not allowed to speak to the press, said one civilian was killed while nine others were injured.

It was not immediately known what caused the accident, but some Pakistani media reports indicated that the wing of one aircraft hit the other, setting both of them on fire. The Pakistan Air Force said a board of inquiry has been formed to investigate the mid-air collision.

Thursday’s deadly crash is the latest in a series of accidents involving PAF aircraft. Last Friday, a PAF pilot was able to eject safely when his Mirage-V aircraft went down during a routine training flight near the coastal town of Sonmiani, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) northwest of Karachi.

In February, a pilot identified as Tauseef Ahmed was killed when a China-made F-7PG fighter jet crashed in a mountainous area about 24 nautical miles (44.4 kilometers) north of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan. The cause of the crash, which was the fourth of a Pakistani air force jet in as many months, was not immediately known.

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